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Ehrl, Denis; Heidekrüger, Paul I.; Ninkovic, Milomir; Broer, P. Niclas (2018): Effect of primary admission to burn centers on the outcomes of severely burned patients. In: Burns, Vol. 44, No. 3: pp. 524-530
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Objective: Burns represent a special form of severe trauma. Due to long hospitalization, rehabilitation, and extensive scar treatment, severe burn injuries rank among the most expensive traumatic injuries regarding associated health care costs. The presented single-burn-center experiences evaluated the effects of primary versus secondary burn intensive care unit (BICU) admissions on outcomes in severely burned patients. Methods: Within 30 months, 186 patients were admitted to the BICU. The cases were divided into two groups depending on their admission type: "primary" vs. "secondary". All patients were analyzed retrospectively regarding the need for surgery, encountered complications, time of hospitalization and overall survival. Results: The incidence of primary BICU-admissions was 65.1%. Both patient groups were comparable regarding demographics, comorbidities, % TBSA burn, associated inhalation injuries, ABSI scores and intubation rates (p>0.05). Both groups received similar numbers of operations and had overall comparable mortality rates (p>0.05). However, duration until first burn excision, length of ventilation, as well as BICU-and overall hospital length of stay were significantly shorter in the "primary"-compared to the "secondary" group (p<0.05). Conclusion: Several burn societies have published precise criteria of when a patient needs to be referred to a burn center. In the presented series, patients that were primarily treated at a BICU showed significantly better outcomes regarding several parameters. In order to further optimize treatment of burn patients it therefore appears that precise initial assessment and if appropriate respective primary transport to dedicated burn centers needs to be reemphasized, especially among first-and emergency care providers.